Peter Uzoho
History was made in Enugu on the 30th of March 2017, when the prestigious and one of the most sort after awards – the Margarette Golding Award of the International Inner Wheel Clubs – which affirms the highest form of selfless service and personal sacrifice to humanity, was bestowed on Lady Pharmacist Ifeoma Atuegwu, the initiator and founder of the not for profit organisation Bina Foundation. Her NGO focuses on people with special needs. This award is one of the highest forms of honour given to persons by the International Inner Wheel Clubs, worldwide.

Lady Atuegwu’s certificate was presented to her by President of the International Inner Wheel Clubs, Mrs. Oluyemisi Alatise, who happens to be the first African and a Nigerian to emerge as the president of this global initiative since inception. In February 2017, the National representative of the clubs in Nigeria Mrs. Uche Agbim played host to Mrs. Alatise, during the club’s 30th National Rally in Enugu.

It was during this visit of Mrs. Alatise that the charity works of Bina Foundation towards people with physical challenges and special needs were seen first-hand by the president, which inspired her recommendation for this highest honour. It was after this victorious resolution at the highest decision making body that Lady Atuegwu emerged as the 5th Nigerian to join the list of 200 distinguished personalities worldwide who have bagged this meritorious Margarette Golding Award.

When rotary was founded in 1905, for many years their wives involved themselves in voluntary and humanitarian services organised by their husbands until 1923 when a group of ladies encouraged, by their husbands came to a decision to call a meeting for the purpose of setting up a club of their own. On the 10 of January 1924, a club was formed in Manchester named Inner Wheel Club of Manchester with 23 ladies and Mrs. Margarette Golding, a veteran 1st world war nurse and later an industrialist emerged as it’s 1st President.

She breathed life into the organisation, nurtured it during its infancy, ironed out its teething troubles, guided it through the formative stages and saw it solidly established. She died in 1939 having seen the 100th Inner Wheel Club formed. Today, there are close to 4,000 clubs with 100,000 members from more than 103 countries across the globe.

It was at the 11 convention in May 2000 in Stockholm (Sweden) that a decision was taken to create an award in the name of Margarette Golding for highly commendable personal service through Inner Wheel or in the Community. This award has been available since 2001 and over 200 people have now received the MGA throughout the World. Nigeria has about 5 recipients to date.